02/06/2016 3:45PM

Lady Shipman cruises in Ladies’ Turf Sprint

Barbara D. Livingston
Lady Shipman covered the five-furlong distance of the Ladies' Turf Sprint in 58.14 seconds.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Lady Shipman made a splashy return to the races Saturday by easily winning the $75,000 Ladies’ Turf Sprint, the first of six stakes on the big Donn Handicap card at Gulfstream Park.

With Irad Ortiz Jr. skillfully easing her away from an early pursuer, Lady Shipman drew off to a 2 3/4-length score over Katie’s Kiss for her ninth victory in 13 career starts. It was her first race for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin after the filly had been trained by Kathleen O’Connell.

“You never expect them to win as easy as she did,” said McLaughlin, fresh off a lengthy overseas trip to and from Dubai. “It’s an honor to have her in the barn."

Lady Shipman will join her McLaughlin stablemates in Dubai when making her next start in the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint at about five furlongs on the Meydan turf on March 26.

Lady Shipman returned $2.40 to win after finishing the five-furlong distance in 58.14 seconds over a course rated firm but clearly was holding moisture from recent rain.

Bred and owned by the Ranlo Investments of Randall Lowe, Lady Shipman, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred by Midshipman, was the runner-up last fall in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint when facing male rivals. She came into this race off five straight triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures.

The $2 exacta (2-8) paid $15, the $1 trifecta (2-8-5) returned $17.20, and the 10-cent superfecta (2-8-5-4) was worth $11.